Setting the record straight on the day’s top anti-oil and gas media stories
ACTIVIST CLAIM: National Observer article repeats misleading information about oil and gas subsidies during COVID in 2020
THE FACTS: The government provided a small amount of funding to clean up old abandoned wells while giving away $15 billion in “green” subsidies in 2020.
Here are some facts and sources to have a reasoned conversation about government support for oil and gas:
- In 2020 during COVID and the oil crisis, the oil and gas industry was able to access some financial support that was available to all industries but was only given $1.7 billion was given as direct support to clean up old wells. In comparison, the Federal Government has spent $268.2 billion on COVID so far.
- Meanwhile, a policy brief from the International Institute for Sustainable Development notes that Canada announced almost $15 billion in financial support for “green” initiatives in 2020.
- The gross revenue contribution to federal, provincial, and municipal governments exclusively from the oil and gas sector was $493.3 billion between 2000 and 2018, an average of $26 billion per year which has gone to important civil services like health care.
Statistics Canada (2020b). Table 10-10-0017-01: Canadian Government Finance Statistics for the Provincial and Territorial Governments
Statistics Canada (2020c). Table 33-10-0006-01: Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises, by Industry Type Statistics Canada (2020d). Financial and Taxation Statistics for Enterprises, by Industry Type (x 1,000,000). Custom tabulation.
Statistics Canada (2020a). Table 10-10-0016-01: Canadian Government Finance Statistics for the Federal Government
- While some activist worker groups are calling for a switch to a green economy and just transition, there’s evidence to suggest that these “green jobs” are often created overseas, rather than domestically. A significant portion of jobs in an energy transition are mining jobs, processing jobs, and manufacturing jobs.
- A representative from the organization Ecology Action Centre makes the misleading claim that the oil and gas industry is leaving minorities, Indigenous peoples and women behind. According to the proportion of visible minorities in the oil and gas industry has doubled since 2006. There are twice as many Indigenous people employed in the industry than the Canadian average. Finally, women make up almost 1/4 of the oil and gas workforce, in line with other trade-intensive industries such as construction and agriculture.
Stories that get it right
Suncor and Cenovus are taking full possession of Newfoundland’s Terra Nova offshore oil project and are planning to restart operations in 2022. Restarting Terra Nova would provide more than 1,000 jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador, directly and indirectly, according to Suncor.